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U of M Provost Honored for His Life's Work in Special Field of Mathematics
For release: May 3, 2007
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University of Memphis Provost Ralph Faudree has been awarded the 2005 Euler Medal from the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications.  The Euler Medal is an annual award given to mathematicians with prominent lifetime contributions to combinatorial research who are still active in research.

At most, two medals are given per year.  That year, in addition to Faudree, Aviezri Fraenkel of Israel received the award.  Fraenkel helped lead the way in three parts of discrete mathematics, which are covering systems, combinatorial game theory, and information retrieval applied to sacred texts.

Faudree has served as provost since 2001 but has been with the University for more than 35 years. He came to the U of M in 1971 as the graduate coordinator for the Department of Mathematical Sciences.  He has also served as the department’s chair, as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as interim President for the University. He has published more than 200 mathematical papers on combinatorics, specifically dealing with graph theory and Ramsey Theory. Faudree has also made significant findings in the area of Hamiltonian graphs and general path and cycle problems.

“It is an unbelievable honor to have been nominated and selected to receive the Euler Medal by the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications and to be associated with the outstanding mathematicians who have received the Medal,” said Faudree. “I am also grateful to all those scholars with whom I have had the privilege to collaborate and do research in combinatorics and graph theory.”

Faudree also hosts the annual Erdös Lecture Series in honor of the late Paul Erdös, one of the most prolific and respected mathematicians of the 20th century.  Erdös was a regular visitor to the U of M in the 1990s.

Faudree began working with Erdös years ago while he was conducting research at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. Their collaboration led to more than 45 articles in graph theory. Since Erdös’ death, Faudree has continued the work they began together, collaborating with mathematicians in Hungary and the United States.

Provost Faudree has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Illinois.

Faudree’s work has been recognized previously.  He was a co-recipient of the University Distinguished Research Award in 1978 and the recipient of the Superior Performance in Research Award in 1986, 1988-90 and 1992-93, the College of Arts and Science Meritorious Faculty Award in 1991, and the Board of Visitors’ Eminent Faculty Award in 1994.

The Euler award is named after Leonhard Euler. Euler was an eighteenth century mathematician who made several notable discoveries in the fields of calculus, number theory and topology.

Dr. Faudree holds a baccalaureate degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Purdue University.

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Last updated: 03/19/2008 16:39:26
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